Aries (ârˈēz) [key] [Lat., = the ram], constellation lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Taurus and Pisces; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It contains the bright star Hamal (Alpha Arietis). About 2,000 years ago the vernal equinox was located at the beginning of Aries and was thus also called the "first point of Aries"; however, the precession of the equinoxes has since shifted the vernal equinox into Pisces. Aries reaches its highest point in the evening sky in December.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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